Two Appointments In Two Weeks Needed At St Mary's
Thursday, 15th Nov 2018 11:30
Saints need to move fast in the next fortnight if they are to re shape their staff and get the team back on track in the Premier League and it will be a case of two crucial appointments.
The sacking of Les Reed has made Mark Hughes position at St Mary's even more shaky after a poor start to the season, whilst Reed was still in situ he had some backing in that Reed needed Hughes to succeed if he was to keep his own job after the two previous appointments were perceived as being wrong for different reasons.
But with Reed gone it seems that the owners and Ralph Krueger were not happy with Reed's work in the last couple of years and given that managerial appointments was a big part of that you don't need to be a rocket scientist to work out that the board would also not be very happy with Hughes otherwise Reed would still be at the club.
But having taken the first step in changing the club structure, the second might not be as easy as it sounds, with no director of football in place, it will not be quite so easy to find a manager, not just because there is no one within the club with the true insider knowledge to make that appointment, but also because any new manager would want to know who he is going to work with if he was appointed and more to the point if he could work with him.
That would also be the case for any director of football joining the club, he will want his own choices in place and almost certainly both he and indeed the club would want him to have an input now rather than find that both could not work together and have to sack another manager.
This means that for the moment Hughes will stay in charge, indeed with this being an international break and that being the case there is no point in being hasty in sacking him just yet, even if Hughes went today any successor would not have a full squad together till next Thursday leaving a new man only two days to work with them.
So there is no urgency just yet, however I don't think Saints will rush the decision, it is likely that Hughes could still be in charge for the trip to Fulham, however should he lose that one then his position would be untenable and surely after the dithering last season Krueger and his board would see the need for change at that stage, they would have to accept that even a temporary manager from within the club would be better than hanging on.
Hughes has had the equivalent of more than half a season in charge, he has had almost as many games in the Premier League as Mauricio Pellegrino and with a worse record, i that record wasn't good enough to keep Pellegrino in his job then it certainly won't be good enough to keep Hughes in his.
So it is crucial that Saints fill the space vacated by Reed asap.
The favourite seems to be Stuart Webber who has worked closely with both David Wagner at Huddersfield and now Daniel Farke at Norwich, both are from the same Borussia Dortmund reserve side and it is natural to assume that if Webber came that perhaps Saints would look to bring in one of the two.
Certainly Wagner was linked last season with the job at St Mary's when Mauricio Pellegrino was sacked, although he seems to be well ensconced at Huddersfield even with their issues.
So Saints could be looking at two crucial appointments very soon and who is director of football will be key to who will be manager, although I am sure that Saints will not want to make a panic appointment and give Hughes a few more weeks to turn things around, but a few more weeks at best is all he has got, the Fulham game is now win or bust for him.
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